Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Couldn't Stop at Just One...(Mini Design Board)...


Okay...this is the post where I tell you how I use 6 mini boards all at once!
(you can find out how to make them HERE)
Well the explanation is pretty easy
and straight forward.
It's because I don't like to waste time!
I love making sampler quilts but let's face it...they take a while because each block is cut differently and consists of different fabric combinations.
So what I do to save time is to choose the fabrics for 6 blocks at a time.
This way...my fabric piles are already out on my counter...and I can choose several different color combos for a nice variety.

I really like the choosing fabric part of making and planning a quilt and doing it for several blocks at once is a way that I can really enjoy the process! 

After the fabrics are chosen...I cut them into thier individual blocks...and lay each of them out on a design board along with the pattern or page number, name of block or notes etc.
Like this...


















After they are all arranged on the design boards...I stack the boards on top of each other so that all of the block pieces and instructions are nice and protected!

I set them next to my machine so that they are all ready to go when I have time to stitch them together...
(this way, they also become portable and easy to take on a sew day with friends).

And if you're like me...you are definitely working on more than one project at a time and this way...you can set these aside and work on something else if you are sew inclined:)
But I digress...

Anyhoo...when sewing, I start with the block on the top design board and when that first one is complete,
I go to the next one...and tada!!!...it's all set up just how I left it and waiting patiently to become another FWQAL block!

There is something very satisfying about getting 6 sampler blocks complete in an afternoon...or even just one at a time when I only have a few minutes to an hour to sew:)

When all 6 blocks are complete...
I start the choosing fabric and cutting process all over again and stack 6 more ready to go for the next time!

This is how I piece and plan all of my quilts and I make design boards to go along with what ever block size I am making for that particular quilt.
I usually make them about 4-6 inches larger than the size of the finished block.
For example...
if the block finishes at
8"...I make them 12"...
If the block finishes at
12"...I make them 18"...
and so on.

When I finish the edges of the larger boards with fabric...
I simply sew 2 1/2" strips together to make them long enough to fit around the board. I stitch them together on the diagonal and it is a really cute scrappy look.
Also, it's a great way to use up leftover
 2 1/2" strips:)
I have been making these for so many years now that I have several sizes made already so I really don't have to make new ones for each and every new project....
although they do get old and worn out looking after alot of use so when that happens...I throw them out and replace them with new.

Another thing I do is have an extra one on hand that I can use for
"a lid"
to place on top of the 
"prepared for sewing" stack if I take them with me on retreat... or on a sew day...or camping.
After all...I don't want the wind to blow away my block pieces that are on the top!
I also tie a ribbon around all of them when transporting so that they stay stacked and secure:)
Well...I know this has been alot of explanation about my design boards.
Especially for such a simple thing ...but I love them.
They help me to be more efficient with my sewing time and they also help me to enjoy each step of making a quilt!

I will be showing my FWQAL blocks as I make progress and I have also started to post them on my new flickr account...feel free to check them out and all of the other
FWQAL blocks on the flickr page.
The above is what the button looks like and you will find it on my right side bar so that you can click on it anytime to see all of the blocks being posted there.
Until next time...have a quilty day my friends!
xx
Lori



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19 comments:

Lindsay Conner said...

I love your thinking! This is a great concept and has the potential to save so much time. :)

lifeinredshoes said...

It was so nice to meet you today at Pine Needles! I just wish a tiny bit of your talent had rubbed off on me :)

It was nice to watch a pro in action :)

Sweet Pea said...

I'm following because I'm sold on these design boards...!!!!!

Sweet Pea said...

I'm following because I'm sold on these design boards...!!!!

Carol said...

Lori I am absolutely in love with your boards...I'm going to make some as soon as I get home from vacation...love the idea of different sizes! You are such a clever girl...thanks so much for sharing with us!

Cathy H. said...

This is such a wonderful idea!! I wonder why I didn't think of it! I've made two boards so far, one is 16" and one is 14". Love them!! Thanks for sharing your ideas! I'll look forward to seeing your blocks for TFWQ!!

Renea said...

I love your organizational skills. I wish I could say that picking fabrics for my projects was my favorite part but it is the hardest part for me. Love reading your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Martha said...

I love these design boards. They will be such time savers. Can't wait to make a few. Thank you so much for all you do for the quilting world.

Candice said...

Thank you so much for showing us the behind the scenes of the boards! I am so excited to make more sizes :) Thank you for letting us know how big to make them (in comparison to finished blocks)! OFf to make an 18"!! And I LOVE your FW blocks- they are just wonderful! Have a marvelous day :)

Nedra said...

They almost look too pretty to disturb! I'm still thinking about joining the Farmers Wife quilt along. I now have the book.

PamKittyMorning said...

I love seeing all your combinations. Of course love the boards, maybe this week. I had good intentions but you know how lazy I am.

Evelene S said...

Love the design boards and it makes so much sense to have everything ready so one can just sew when time permits. Thanks so much sharing your tips with us!

Maxine said...

Lori love reading your blog...And as always love your tips...thanks so much for sharing....Could you come and live with me and get me on your page? I'm retired and do not get even half done that you do...One talented lady that is for sure...Hope you teach a class here in St George, or I could come up there and take one....

Pat said...

I love the design boards and can't wait to get to Walmart so I can make some for myself. What a great idea. Thanks for the tutorial.

Bari Jo said...

Oh wow! You are brilliant! I love this idea and can't wait to get started! My b-day is next month and I've been dropping hints to the fam about wanting this book for the FWQA.... you have me so excited to make these so I can stay organized with this. Thanks for sharing! Love the idea of different sizes to have on hand for projects! Thanks for all the detail! The top board/tying them together, etc! Love your sharing heart! Appreciate it so much! Your fabric is so cute also! Need to scope out my local quilt stores to see if they have any! Blessings to you! Bari

Sherri said...

So many more great ideas, Lori...thanks for posting them! Plus, it's so fun to see the fabric combinations on the boards!

anniebeez said...

Love the design boards! I am SEW going to make some!!

Karen said...

now i know how I am going to spend my Sunday morning. Having just joined in on the FWSA these will be invaluable. What a great way to keep myself on the straight and narrow!

Christine L said...

Thanks so much for sharing your ideas! I love it, and will making a few of these boards! I found you on Pinterest and am in love with your blog! Looking forward to reading and following :)
Happy New Year!

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